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An earthquake in Papua New Guinea killed four people and destroyed more than 300 homes as disaster relief officials worked to further assess damage.

The magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck in a remote region early today (April 4), causing deep fissures in the land near the epicentre at Chambri Lake in the northern part of the Pacific nation.

The region is marked by swamps and people tend to live subsistence lives hunting and fishing, Mathew Moihoi, the acting assistant director of the Port Moresby Geophysical Observatory, told The Associated Press. Because of the region’s remoteness and patchy communications, it could take several days to figure out the extent of the damage, he said.

Citing local officials, the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier newspaper reported four people had died and at least 17 more people were injured after the quake caused damage in 23 villages around the epicentre.